2014 was a very good year for Crystal and I. It was our first full year in our forever home on the farm. It has been a blast taking this place from dreamland to reality. None of this would be possible without our family, friends, customers and god. We could not be more blessed or dream of any better from each of those listed. This year I lost a hero but have felt his presence ever since we lost him, every time I fix anything or build anything I smile knowing that Grandpa Johnson helped me do it.
With the help of my Grandpa Jim, my Dad and Gary Maurer we were able to get all of the horse stalls taken out of the west side of our barn and new cattle pens built. These have been a big help in the efficiency of halter breaking calves and now with calving they are really shining. We also got our new Stronghold corral and tub system installed and I am proud to report that it works great. If you think about something as long and hard as we have thought about the improvements to our barn it gives a great sense of pride to see them come to fruition.
Crystal’s parents we able to make it down to join us at this years State Fair which was Rob’s second trip down for it and Dee’s first. Their help and knowledge are always greatly appreciated. We also cannot wait until they get their first “High Country Hereford”!!! We also got a visit from Crystal’s sister Stacy and her husband Dan this year, it was great to have them here but I fear a “Double R Hereford” is about as probable as Republicans and Democrats working together.
On December 23rd we officially became an Aunt and Uncle when my little sister Jaci had Bode Alan Barber. He weighed in at 9 lbs and was 21 inches long. He is the only baby that I have been able get to stop crying, which is awesome. We are excited to watch him grow and thanks to facetime we will be able to do so with relative ease. Little Bode is the best Christmas gift ever and I have never been more proud of my little sister and brother in law.
This years calf crop has greatly exceeded our expectations and continues to improve. The bull and heifer we are selling at the Iowa Beef Expo are two of our best yet. The heifers and bull that we are retaining in our herd are very exciting as well. The have raised the sail on this ship and now we are just holding on tight to follow the path we are on.
It is going to be an exciting 2015, we are blessed and prepared to tackle whatever waves we climb. JJB no longer simply represents my initials, it is us, these cows, this farm and this dream, which has become so much grander than I could have imagined when it all started in 2007.